Paternal and/or maternal preconception-induced neurobehavioral teratogenicity in animal and human models

Issam Rimawi, Asher Ornoy, Joseph Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Prenatal insult exposure effects on the offspring, have and are still considered the main interest of most teratological studies, while paternal and maternal preconception effects have received relatively little interest. Once thought to be a myth, paternal exposure to insults leading to numerous detrimental effects in the offspring, has been confirmed on several occasions and is gaining increased attention. These effects could be demonstrated molecularly, biochemically and/or behaviorally. Different epigenetic mechanisms have been proposed for these effects to occur, including DNA methylation, histone modification and sperm RNA transmission. Paternal insult exposure has been shown to cause several neurobehavioral and developmental defects in the offspring. Findings on parental insult exposure effects on the progeny will be discussed in this review, with the main focus being on neurobehavioral effects after parental preconceptional exposure. The exposure to the insults induced long-lasting, mostly marked, defects. A few pioneering, prevention and reversal studies were published. Interestingly, most studies were conducted on paternal exposure and, at the present state of this field, on animal models. Clinical translation remains the subsequent challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Biparental exposure
  • Epigenetic alterations
  • Maternal preconception exposure
  • Mechanisms
  • Molecular alterations
  • Neurobehavioral teratogenicity
  • Prenatal exposure


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